tv PBS News Hour PBS September 6, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
>> brown: good evening. i'm geoffrey brown. on the newshour this labor day, we report on president obama's request to congress to approve $50 billion for transportation and infrastructure spending to help create new jobs. and paul solmon examines the eroding cloud organized labor in these economic hard times. >> without the workers, without labor, where would their company be? >> we're ready to continue to operate the facility with our temporary work force. >> brown: then judy woodruff previews the mid-term elections with local public broadcast correspondents in california, nevada, ohio and pennsylvania as campaigning heads into the final eight-week stretch. special correspondent in pakistan details the health and safety dangers facing nearly eight million children in the aftermath of the flood disaster.
philanthropy expert s assess the response to pakistani flood relief efforts and wrapping up our series on iraq, fred de sam lazaro reports on the day-to-day difficulties facing iraqis who fled their homeland. >> reporter: seven years after the fall of saddam hussein, perhaps two million iraqis remain refugees in neighboring countries, especially syria and here in jordan. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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thank you. >> brown: president obama spent this labor day in the midwest to rally with union members and unveil a new plan to promote job growth. but even as he sharpend his focus on the economy, his political opponents sharpened their responses. >> around the nation this holiday, parades, barbecues and a continuing unease over the dismal jobs market. coming just after friday's report showing unemployment had edgeded up again to 9.6%, this was a labor day in which the state of the american work force was very much front and center. with that in mind and with a mid-term election just two months off, president obama went to milwaukee today to announce his latest effort to kick-start the economy and create jobs. >> i am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing america's roads and rails and
runways for the long term. >> brown: the president's $50 billion infrastructure proposal would be part of a larger six-year transportation package. among its goals , rebuild 150,000 miles of roads, construct and maintain 4,000 miles of railways, including high-speed rail projects, and reconstruct 150 miles of airport runways while also modernizing the nation's air traffic control system. the president insisted the plan would be fully paid for. administration officials said he will push to close tax breaks for oil and gas companies. he cast it as a crucial long- term investment. >> it's a plan that says even in the aftermath of the worst recession in our lifetimes, america can still shape our own destiny. we can still move this country forward. we can still leave our children something better. we can still leave them something that lasts.
>> brown: but attracting that bipartisan support is unlikely and there was immediate push back. in a statement house republican leader john boehner blasted the plan saying, "we don't need more government stimulus spending. we need to end washington democrats out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes and creates jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses." looking ahead, the policy proposals and politicking will continue in coming days. on wednesday, the president is expected to unveil $100 billion proposal to increase and make permanent research and development tax credits for small businesses. arizona republican john mccain was asked about that during an appearance yesterday on fox news sunday. >> well, while reaction is that we always like to see death-bed conversions, but the fact is if we had done this kind of thing nearly a couple years ago we'd be in a lot better shape. look, they're just flailing around.
>> brown: on the same program democratic national committee chairman kim keen disputed mccain's contention. >> so the president when he announces steps it's not a death bed conversions there have been a series of tax cuts for businesses but in looking at the pace of recovery thank goodness we're not shrinking. we're growing. >> brown: on friday the president will look to reassure the public on the focus of the economy in a different forum at a news conference at the white house. still to come on the newshour, labor's struggles, midterm politics around the country, children and the pakistan floods, a compassion overload, and iraqi refugees in jordan. but first the other news of the day. here is hari sreenivasan in our news room. >> sreenivasan: the u.n. nuclear agency expressed alarm at iran's continueded defiance over its nuclear program. in a new report the international atomic energy agency said iran has banned two of its most experienced inspectors and still refuses to answer questions about its nuclear intentions.
the iranian government called the report unbalanced and said its nuclear operations are under complete super vis by the i.a.e.a.. this comes three months after the security council enacted its harshest sanctions yesterday yet against iran. hundreds rallied. protesters gathered in kabul and burned american flags and cardboard effigies of the pastor of the florida church. he and his congregation plan to burn the islamic holy book to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. the u.s. embassy in kabul has condemned the church's plan. elsewhere in afghanistan nato announced the u.s. soldier was skilled in fighting in the east on sunday. the fifth american death in afghanistan in september. also today it was widely reported that the top u.s. and nato commander in afghanistan has asked for 2,000 additional troops. general david petraeus wants them to join the 140,000 strong international force to help train afghan security forces. in pakistan today at least 19
people died and 40 more were wounded in a suicide bombing near a police station. the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility for the car bomb in the northwestern town. a spokesman said the bombing targeted police because they encourage residents to set up militias and fight the taliban. at least 44 people have died in landslides in guatemala, and dozens more are missing. heavy rains unleashed multiple landslides this weekend including on one of the country's main highways. rescue workers struggled today to try and free more than 30 people buried in the wreckage. more rain was forecast for the rest of the week. tropical storm hermine headed for the texas-mexico border region today. the area is under a hurricane watch predicting the storm could reach hurricane strength before it hits land early tuesday. flooding in southern mexico forcing thousands to move to shelters. forecasters are pre-vikting up to a foot of rain in some areas. those are some of the
day's major stories. now back to jeff. >> brown: we turn to the problems of labor unions on this particular labor day. as newshour economics correspondent paul poll mon reports on a workplace battle ground. part of his ongoing reporting of making sense of financial news. >> reporter: while doing a story on worker burnout for last friday's broadcast we ran into a highly unusual sight, given the army of unemployed americans on the side lines these days, a labor strike. it seemed worth a story of its own. the strike is at a mott's plant near rochester new york which processes half the state's apples into sauce and juice. some 300 workers walked out on may 23. they've stayed out in a broiling-hot summer protesting cuts in pay and benefits indignantly. >> without the workers, without labor, where would their company be. >> reporter:
this symbol for mott's owner dr. pepper snapple of plain oh, texas, a conglomeration of 50 brands created from britain's cad bury swepz. senior vice president robert calin speaks for the company. >> we need to change from the prior ownership that maintained an inefficient and high cost structure. >> reporter: of course management's sway over labor is as old as capitalism itself. it took well into the 20th century for workers to wield real power of their own. >> the answer is yes. >> reporter: the 1950s broadway and hollywood hit musical the pajama game was a sign of the times. ♪ doesn't buy a heck of a lot ♪ ♪ doesn't mean a thing ♪ give it to me every hour, 40 hours every week that's enough for me to be... ♪ > the garment union wanted a pay raise. in an era of low unemployment and no global competition, management was quick to settle.
>> we'll give you 7.5 cents if you give up the claim to retroactive pay. >> we ain't giving up nothing. >> wait a minute. don't you see? we've won! we've won! >> reporter: they're not winning in williamson. and they didn't even ask for a raise. they rejected a contract that included benefit cuts and offered flat wages. then the company cut their pay by $1.50 an hour. hence, the walkout. this person worked at mott's for 12 years as a label operator and most recently made $21.38 an hour. >> you have to have people to make the product just as much as you have to have people to sell the product. so our earnings should be based on their earnings. >> reporter: the plant is profitable. the parent company, dr. pepper- snapple, maybe more than half a billion dollars last year.
but said bob calan. >> the williamson employees have enjoyed wages that exceed 50% of the market for a very long time. the best example i can give you is one of our forklift drivers at the williamson facility makes $20 an hour. local market in the williamson area, a forklift driver will make $9.90 an hour. >> reporter: doing the math, that's about $20,000 a year. thomas culhane is a forklift operator. >> i don't think that's fair that a multibillion dollar company can tell us, well, you know what? the economy is tough. you guys have to accept all these cuts. when they were making money hand over fist. >> reporter: the fact is for all the union's efforts, the company has been able to find replacement workers for a very simple reason. >> the unemployment rate is approximately 9.8% in the area. >> reporter: local firms like xerox and kodak have been shedding jobs for years, leaving a reserve work force
that makes the mott strike seem quick. >> workers in the united states represented by unions have been engaged in a lowered number of strikes today than at any time since we've seen in the last 40 years. >> reporter: economist andrew sum, a former union steelworker himself, runs a labor center at northeastern university. >> there's no need to pay workers more. workers do not have the collective bargaining power to demand that they get paid more. so as a result, the upper hand at the current time is held by corporations. >> i've been hearing it for two years now from the h.r.- manager in here, don't your people realize that we're in a recession. >> reporter: michael is president of the union local. bruce is the recording secretary. >> they are trying to capitalize off the economy and the rate of unemployment in this area to oppress their employees. >> reporter: so is labor cowed into accepting low wages by a glut of jobless americans waiting in the wings? >> absolutely.
>> reporter: social economist juliette shore says today's labor glut is key. >> i think it dropped out of people's consciousness as an important variable in terms of how the economy works. but once you get back into high rates of unemployment, underemployment as we have today, it again has a lot of force. >> reporter: meanwhile as workers feel they're being squeezed, they see executives getting an ever-larger share of the pie. >> let's just take the ceo, for example. would he not be an employee? >> reporter: total pay for dr. pepper-snapple ceo larry young was $6.5 million last year. >> he's making more money than any of us here will ever earn in our entire life. he keeps making more. all of them keep making more at the top. >> reporter: a recent study by the pro labor institute for policy studies supports such claims. quote, ceos of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the
economic crisis took home 42% more than the ceo pay average at sp 500 firms as a whole. vice president calan's response. >> this is a red herring by the union. executive pay is completely irrelevant to the discussion. we're talking about 300 workers in williamson, new york. and how we can maintain a competitive and flexible work force manufacturing mott's apple sauce to satisfy the needs of the northeast and the east. >> reporter: the head of the union local's response? >> let's be competitive from the top down. >> reporter: indeed many u.s. firms are now competitive enough to reward executives and profit handsomely. but says economist andrew sum most of that money is being kept by the firms. >> it's not then reinvested in new capital equipment. it's not been used to help purchase new technology. this is the first time we've ever had where basically all the income went simply to corporate prove is. >> reporter: instead of to workers.
>> instead of to workers. >> reporter: workers who feel they're now being treated as a kmod... commodity in a land of excess labor. >> myself along with the other 300 workers that i've worked are a highly skilled, trained work force of processing technicians. we are not caning factory workers that are general labor. we are a trained work force. >> reporter: the problem for american workers these days though, especially those in manufacturing, is that while their skills are hard-worn and factory-specific, companies think the unemployed are ready, willing, and even able to replace them. so the striker... though the strikers dispute it, mott claims it's doing just fine with people making half the union wage with no benefits at all. >> operating a facility with temporary workers is like opening a brand new plant. it takes time to train workers
to do a good job. it takes time to train workers how to operate machinery effectively. but we're very happy with the success we've enjoyed and we're ready to continue to operate the facility with our temporary work force. >> reporter: a work force drawn, the union says, from a pool of labor that has nowhere else to go. >> brown: and now to another labor day staple: politics. on friday judy woodruff ran that topic past four reporters who are part of our newshour connect partnership with public broadcasters around the country. >> each election year labor day marks the unofficial kick- off to the frenzied final weeks of the campaign season. the battle for control of both the united states house and the senate will play out coast to coast over the course of the next eight weeks. and tonight we bring together our public media partners from pennsylvania, ohio, nevada, and california, to get a lay of the land.
they are covering some of the most high-profile races of the year. joining us are scott schaeffer from kqed public radio in san francisco; ian millcrest from knpr in las vegas; karen castle of ohio public radio in columbus; and michael bartley from wqed in pittsburgh. now, all of you, thank you for talking with us. i want to just start with the conventional wisdom here in washington. that is that the economy is the number-one issue in all of these races. but i want to do a reality check and ask if that's the case where you are in your state. let's start in the east with michael bartley. is it the big issue? and give us a quick picture of the economy in your state. >> judy, great to be with you again. there's no question on this labor day the principal preoccupation is the economy. look, you know, in mid-term election is coming up. socialist, you don't hear about them. pennsylvania's unemployment
rate is a tad lower than the national rate. but it doesn't matter. and, look, i think pennsylvania is realistic about this as well. the economy doesn't stop, these issues don't stop at the pennsylvania border. and start up again in ohio. there's no border here. so this, you know, national miss re, whatever you want to call it, people are looking for answers. people, you know, i don't think they're concentrating just yet on mid-term elections. the principal deal here is the economy. i think, you know, there's this general feeling that the government, you know, in washington, the federal government just doesn't have the answers. yes, absolutely no question here in pennsylvania from pittsburgh out east to philadelphia number one issue. >> woodruff: karen castle, whether there's a border or not, what does it look like there in ohio? >> absolutely here in ohio we hear an awful lot about this state being the first in the recession and the last out of it to whenever it might happen. we've got three major things
that are a problem here in ohio when you start looking at the economy. the unemployment rate is at 10.3%. it's dropped every month since march. but it's still at sustained levels that we haven't seen in two decades. we also have foreclosures. the mortgage brokers association ranks ohio sixth in the nation in foreclosures. one in ten ohioans are at risk of losing their homes according to data released in june. and then you also have an upcoming budget deficit for next year which is estimated to go as high as $8 billion. absolutely the economy is a critical issue here. >> woodruff: in nevada, what does it look like there? >> it's absolutely the only issue here. i mean we have the highest unemployment rate nearly 15%. we've had nearly three years of the highest foreclosure rate. across the state, homes are down 40, 50 pr in value. tourist industry has fallen off a cliff. construction which was the second biggest industry is absolutely dead. it's the first half dozen issues here on anybody's agenda .
>> woodruff: scott schaeffer, is california as grim as it is everywhere else? >> it very grim here, judy. unlike ohio, typically california in the past has been the last to feel an economic dip and the first to come out of it. that is not the case this time around. unemployment here is above 12%. it's been stuck there for some time. california is disproportionately dependent on income tax. so with revenues down it's trickled down and affecting the state government and local governments. there have been a lot of lay- offs, police, fire, teachers and so on. so the pain is very deep. it's lasted a long time. there's real he'll little sign of coming out of it any time soon. >> woodruff: i want to ask each one of you about these important races going on in your state. starting back on the east coast in pennsylvania with michael bartley. you already had big news when your incumbent senator democratic senator arlen specter was defeated in the primary. joe cec tack, the congressman. now cec tack facing real serious competition from the republican pat too manyy.
>> republican pat too manyy, judy, has never been behind in the polls. new polls out last week, last wednesday and so forth, had him about 7 percentage points up. he's been up anywhere between 4 points, up 11 points. it's really interesting because sestak who ran a show case campaign against arlen specter, the big deal there will be to get turnout out in philadelphia. you know, pennsylvania is very interesting state. we have.3 million more democrats registered than republicans. but it doesn't seem to be a factor right now unless philadelphia turns out. and the last statewide general election philadelphia only had about 10% turnout. if you don't get above 25% in philadelphia, joe sestak is in trouble. that's the conventional thinking. pat too manyy, you know, it's interesting, it's finally getting, you know, hot on television ads. joe is painting pat as a wall street insider.
pat painting joe as, you know, this big taxer, big spender type thing. it's going to be really interesting. it's labor day. we have two months. but right now it seems like the republicans do indeed have the upper hand. but time will tell. >> woodruff: let's move to ohio to karen castle. first to your senate race. you have george, the republican senator. he's retiring. the republican congressman and former budget director under president bush, rob portman is running against a democrat lee fisher. give us a thumbnail of that race. >> this is the first time in 12 years that a seat had opened up in the u.s. senate. democrats were hope to go take that back. they didn't count on a primary back in the spring. that primary sucked almost all the money out of the eventual nominee, lieutenant governor lee fisher. so now he is at a serious fund- raising disadvantage against rob portman. the last reporting period had him at a 9 to 1 fund raising
disadvantage. fisher says he's now gained that back. what i don't think we're seeing here in ohio is the national money coming in to this race. it seems that the national party is focusing on other races, both the democratic party and the republican party. because rob portman is on the air with his ads with his money where you don't see the democratic senate campaign coming in and boosting fisher's campaign. what you do see is the republican governor's association coming in and spending an awful lot of money. they've said that they will spend $3 million for each race that they target. they are pouring money into the governor's race which puts congressman john caseic against the democratic incumbent governor. >> woodruff: in that governor's race where the incumbent the democrat getting a run for his money from john caseic. caseic workd for lehman brothers a big wall street firm that went under. is that a factor in this campaign? >> absolutely. what mike said in pennsylvania is absolutely true here as well. we're seeing a lot of the
republican candidates painted as wall street cronies. you're seeing the democrats being painted in a different way. and those themes are coming into play. the polls are showing maybe they're not resonating as much as they should at least if you're a democratic strategist you'd like to see them resonate. the other thing is in ohio early voting starts on september 28. so this idea of a labor day kick-off, we've been campaigning in ohio for a while because the early voting does start a lot earlier. we're not just going to polls in november. we're going in september. >> woodruff: we're seeing that in several states. we want to move to nevada now. ian, this is a race that is getting attention, has been getting enormous attention for months now. you have the senate majority leader harry reid running against a challenger tea party member, shar ron angle. what's the state of that one? >> well, in the spring it looked like senator harry reid was a dead man walking. but as soon as sharon angle won the primary, she was out of money. she spent two months painting
her as probably the most extreme candidate that could have won. it seems to have succeeded. he's wrestled it back to a statistical dead heat in the last couple of months. it looks as if her negatives are almost as high as his. in a recent poll, some 66% of would-be republican voters said they'd rather have some other republican candidate. she's in real trouble. she has basically brought forward her media strategy. we're getting inundated with anti-harry reid ads. it's all his fault. it's time to change. she's really trying to stop the bleeding here from the republicans and independents. at the moment we're looking at a statistical dead heat. >> woodruff: people looking at that as a test of tea party strength. to california now scott schaeffer this is a state, two competitive races. your senate race. you have barbara boxer, the democrat who really has not had serious opposition as she
has now from carly fiorina, the former head of hewleltt-packard. they had a debate this week. you were the moderator. since the debate how does it look? >> well, it was a very feisty debate. you saw barbara boxer coming out swinging as they both did really trying to portray carly fiorina as a corporate insider. when she was ceo of hewleltt-packard, she laid off tens of thousands of workers, shipped a number of jobs overseas to places like china and india. boxer that where she went on the offensive. carly fiorina on the other hand very articulate, smart, has a good grasp of the economy and economic issues and tried to portray barbara boxer has someone who has been there too long and done too little, someone with no talk and little action. too divisive and partisan. these are the portraits of these two candidates being portrayed by the candidates. there are other issues though in california. the economy, of course, is dominant, but there are other issues like the environment,
very important. choice, abortion also an important issue. and carly fiorina and barbara boxer don't agree on any of those issues or guns or immigration. there's a whole host of issues they disagree on. it will be very interesting to see how voters evaluate those two candidates. in the governor's race, of course, around schwarzenegger is termed out. can't run again. jerry browne attempting to make a comeback at governor. he served last in the early '80s, running against meg whitman from e-bay. you have a republican woman who has a corporate background running as an outsider, someone who will shake things up. jerry browne kind of the wiley old veteran. he's been playing kind of opossum. hasn't spent any money. spent less than a million dollars. whitman has spent more than $100 million in this campaign. labor day is here. jerry browne now will start spending some of that money he's piled up over the past several months. >> woodruff: at this point, scott schaeffer, where does that race stand in the polls? >> it's very close. i'd say it's about even.
some polls show her up by a few. some polls show jerry browne up by a few. jerry browne is known nationally in some ways. people under the age of 40 in california don't really know him. so his job in part is going to be to reintroduce himself or introduce himself to younger voters and explain why a 72-year-old politician is relevant to the future. why he should be given another chance to be governor. >> woodruff: finally, one thing i have to ask all of you, and that is the man who is not on the ballot in any of these states this year, president obama, and yet many would argue that he's very much a factor. let's do a wrap-around and ask each one of you this question. starting with scott schaeffer out in california. >> obama still relatively popular in california. he's been campaigning and helping barbara boxer raise money. although his numbers have come down since the election, when asked whether they want to elect a senator who will work with barack obama to help him
implement his plan versus someone who is going to fight him at every turn, voters say they want somebody in the senate who is going to help him enact his agenda. that could accrue to barbara boxer's advantage. >> woodruff: ian, what about in nevada? is the president a help or a hindrance or neither? >> probably a hindrance. i mean a recent poll had less than one in three people saying that the administration's policies have helped the economy. since the economy is the only issue it's not much of a help. it's being totally carpet bombed out of existence by both campaigns which are blanketing air waves, the internet and everything with advertisements about the bad state of the economy and blaming each other for it. >> woodruff: what about in ohio, karen? are people talking about the president? is he a factor? >> well, two recent polls that are out this week, one that leans republican, one that leans democrat both show that obama's approval ratings are fairly low in ohio. yet he's coming back to ohio.
he'll be in the demate karatic stronghold in cleveland this week. vice president joe biden on his second trip to ohio in three weeks he's in toledo for labor day festivities. the second monday in three weeks he's been here. both democrats and republicans are saying he helps their base. democrats he brings out fund raising, republicans he brings out those people who are angry with him. >> woodruff: michael bartley, the president we just learned is also heading to pennsylvania in the next few weeks to help raise money. how much of a factor is the president? >> i think just like in ohio he has to rally the base in pittsburgh and in philadelphia. remember pennsylvania is pretty interesting. pittsburgh, two big cities and there's a t that goes north and then to the west and the east. in the t, nothing. obama will not be a factor there. but he gets to philadelphia, gets to allegheny county here in pittsburgh and gets voter turnout it could be interesting. not in the middle of the state. we'll see what happens. >> woodruff: these are some of the most interesting campaigns any of us can remember in a long time.
we thank all of you for talking with us about what's going on. we'll check in with you as we get closer to election day. michael bartley in pittsburgh, karen castle in columbus, ohio, ian millcrest in las vegas, and scott schaeffer in san francisco, thank you all. >> brown: next, a two-part take on the pakistan flood story. first special correspondent reports on the plight of the youngest victims. >> these are the faces behind the statistics. more than eight million children have been seriously affected by the flooding. each one too young to have such a miserable story to tell. their health and safety is the immediate concern. the basics that we take for granted. food and clean drinking water. >> our kids are sleeping out in the open.
we haven't received any help. we don't have any money. we don't have any food. we haven't been given anything to feed our children. they are going hungry. we have been left to live out in the open. >> reporter: these children spend all day in the scorching heat. at night it's freezing cold. they don't have tents to spare them from the elements. malnutrition rates in the flood-affected zones were already high. now children with little access to food and clean drinking water are more vulnerable than ever. >> the major concerns that children are facing right now because of the devastation is displacement. it's the conditions that they live in. the malnutrition they are facing. this is basic medical care that they need especially drinking water, clean drinking water. hygiene and sanitation. those are the priority issues
right now that we are concerned with because unless we prevent, unless we put the measures in place we might face consequences. >> reporter: they wash in the water where their livestock has drowned, where rain and flood water is mixed with sewage. this baby's bath was black and murky before he got into it. in a bizarre twist, the dirty water is their only option to stay clean. already children are at risk of water-born diseases now. the u.n. estimates 20% of children are suffering from diarrhea-related diseases. outbreaks of cholera are breaking out up and down the country. in fact, unicef says 3.5 million children are at risk of contracting water-born diseases. the pakistani media has reported deaths of children either because of diseases or because they didn't have access to food for days on
end. but with devastation spanning across one-fifth of the country, there are no firm statistics to say how many children may have died. (baby crying) but there's another menace to contend with. beyond protecting children from disease animal nutrition, their safety and security is now emerging as yet another battle they face. as the mass evacuations in cities, towns and villages across the country took place and as flash floods rushed through homes, confusion as people made their escape, reports of families being separated are now emerging from camps and roadsides where people have finally settled. >> we were about to leave on a bus. we put some of the kids in it. when the flash floods came we ran but we had nowhere else to go. there was so much water. we ended up leaving some children behind. nobody is helping us. we've asked everyone. our children are stuck there. >> reporter: but missing
children are simply not the top priority right now. the sister has left to try and trace them. they know it's a near impossible task. >> all my time is spent worrying' my children that aren't here with me. if we were together we would be happy. heart a heartbeat is here and half a heartbeat is there with them. >> reporter: those that made it to the camps are no safer. there's no security here, no monitoring of who goes in and out. unaccompanied and vulnerable charities are worried young people may be exploited or abused. >> we're very concerneded about identifying those kids of separation. so this would be another concern for us to ensure that children are protected from any abuse, violence. because of this insecure situation, also the false relief, assistance may lead them towards any difference consequences, for example, an
abduction and trafficking. many people that have that in mind may take advantage of this situation and in exchange of any relief goods or any help they might end up trafficking children. >> reporter: so many millions are affected that it's hard to say how many children may be lost. with prior warning about the impending disaster, there is criticism that children's charities and organizations weren't prepared for these challenges ahead of the flood water's arrival. organizations like unicef has only just started to collect the data and raise concerns. unicef says it couldn't have foreseen how widespread the devastation would be but it's doing its best to deal with it. >> we're working with a social worker and different authorities. we want to establish the health lines in all locations basically in all districts. the people can use the help lines and report cases of
abuse, violence or abduction or trafficking. as well, we're conducting a huge social mobilization campaign educating and providing information to people living in camps about potential risks that can happen to their children. and lastly, we're working with the official registration authority to help us to register any cases of separation or any cases of abuse, violence, or intention of trafficking. >> reporter: many of these children have already beenagain. there are minds mocked by years of brew tilt, fighting and fear. children's psychological and social welfare is also a huge concern. dealing with their health, mental and physical, is a priority. relocating and reuniting families is now an active part of the aide activities. but the work has only just begun. the flood water, an unwelcome in their homes and lives, has
impacted the future of an entire generation. >> brown: now to a closer look al efforts to help pakistan's flood victims. roughly a billion dollars in private and government donations have been pledged so far. with a need so great, the united nation s is reportedly prepare to go ask its members to double the amount they're giving. for their part individual americans have opened their wallets in this crisis but to a lesser degree than in previous disasters such as the haiti earthquake. we dus all this now with patrick rooney, executive director of the center on philanthropy at indiana university, and steve hol chief operating officer and executive vice president of global operations for the humanitarian organization care. steve holing worth, i'll start with you. give us up an update. where the greatest needs that you see and what aid is getting through now? >> well, as you know, the emergency has really unfolded from some of the most remote himalayan valleys right down
into the fertile indus river plain. the needs are all along that flood plain area and the situation is changing i think quite rapidly, improving in the swat valley, improving near the himalayas and access is improving in collaboration with a lot of international actors. the big concern now i think is more in the punjab area and in the sind area largely because of the dense populations that you have there. the populations would have been living in flood-prone areas vulnerable to the river flooding for some time. frankly they're being displaced now in huge numbers. millions of people are having to find their ways to makeshift refugee camps. of course, you know, communicable diseases, water- born diseases are the main concern at the moment. that's been our focus. >> brown: let me bring in patrick rooney because you've been tracking the amounts of giving. give us some con text here in
comparing it to other disasters. what do you see? >> jeff, if you look at this five weeks out, what we've seen so far is about $25 million donated to the pakistani flood relief victims this year. if you compare that to haiti, almost a billion dollars five weeks out. the tsunami, almost a billion dollars five weeks out. 9/11, 1.1 billion. katrina almost 2 billion dollars after five weeks. you can see that the order of magnitude is about 40 times different for most of the disasters and almost 80 times different for katrina. so it's a vastly different scope and scale of support. >> brown: why? what do i think is going on? what are the factors? >> yeah, i think there's a couple factors. i think first it's a hard-to- reach area. so there has not been as much media coverage. one of the things we've seen in other disasters is the greater the media coverage, the greater the disaster relief giving. so i think those two things go hand in hand.
i think also the number of casualties. it was reported about 2,000 people had died from these floods. if you compare that to 200,000 who died shortly after the earthquake in haiti and you had several thousand who died in 9/11 and so on, i think when you look at the scope and magnitude of the deaths and of the square footage or square miles affected, i think those are types of things that affect us. the root cause difference is probably the fact that there's concerns about terrorism and there's concerns about corruption in the military and corruption in the government and concerns, therefore, that gifts may not get to those who need them the most. i think that's probably the biggest obstacle for people who are considering making a gift at this time. >> brown: just to be clear. those numbers you were giving us, those were numbers for americans giving? >> right. that's only private from the american individuals,
foundations and corporations. nonprofits doing international relief work in each of those disasters. >> brown: steve, pick up on that. what factors do you see at lay? how much of it is particular to pakistan and concerns that we just heard? >> we've seen... care has seen a strong donation flow coming from europe, for example. i believe the kin issue is very strong between pakistan and europe. that's been helpful there. it's less strong in the u.s., and i think the other thing is with a slow onset emergency such as a flood of this nature, it may be harder for people who empathize. it raises a lot of very complicated issues like the deterioration of flood plains, of watershed areas and the influence that that has on the flow of water. the story also is about very poor people living in vulnerable situations and their chronic poverty being
complicated by so much water, so much dirty water around them. so i think it's less of a n emotional attachment maybe that it strikes with people. it raises a lot of issues about very complex themes that we see in the developing world all the time. >> brown: staying with you, does that include the association with terrorism, the worries about corruption or an inefficient government? in other words, where the money that people give would be going to, how it would be used? >> well one of the things that i can assure is that from care's point of view, we work with nine national partners in pakistan. we vet them very closely, work with them very closely. and we're able to make sure that our aid goes from people to people. in many developing countries in the world security, poor governance become issues that affect the effectiveness of an aid effort. but i think it's critical that people see that these are real human beings. these are mothers and children
and fathers and sons that are being affected by this, not just abstract things like corrupt governments. >> brown: patrick rooney, again as you study these things over time, what about sheer donor fatigue particularly in a bad economy? what does history tell us? >> i think there is some concern about donor fatigue for a couple of reasons. one because the economy is, you know, weaker than it has been at other times. on the other hand, we saw disaster relief giving for haiti turn out to be quite strong. quite sustained for many months. so that doesn't tell the whole story. i mean i think that's part of it. in fact, perhaps some of the haiti relief giving is part of the donor fatigue. on the other hand, i think that general when americans give, the average gift has ranged between $125 and $135 per household for different disasters. so the gifts tend to be
relatively small. a lot of people giving a relatively small amount. in fact the gift for all the disasters we've track has been $are 50. you know that most people can spend $50 in a lot of different ways so it's not as if people are refinancing their house in order to give these disaster relief gifts. that's not to disparage those gifts. it's just to say that they're relatively small amounts. fairly widespread support. i think what we've seen in pakistan is that it has not generated 4 this widespread support for donors. >> brown: we will watch it continue to unfold. thank you very much for joining us on this labor day. steve holingworth and patrick rooney. thanks a lot. >> brown: and finally to iraq's refugees. over the last three weeks margaret warner reported from iraq, the country's transition to providing its own security. tonight special correspondent
fred de sam lazaro has this story from neighboring jordan on iraqis who fled years of conflict and may never return home. >> reporter: dr. jalal is much better off than most of the 500,000 or so iraqi refugees in jordan. he has a job in a busy practice here in amman but it's a serious time for a man who was one of iraq's top dental surgeons. >> i had the largest dental practice in the country. i had to abandon it when i fled to jordan. there were lots of threats. most of the sign tiffs and the doctors were targeted so we had to reach out for a safe haven that was closest. for us that was jordan. >> reporter: the large family home was destroyed in a car bombing and shelling that ripped through their baghdad neighborhood. that's when he joined aned exodus of eye rag eye... iraqi protectionals fleeing threats of kidnapping or just runing from the wrong side of a political or religious divide.
by some estimates since 2003 at least 60% of iraq's doctors have either left or stopped practicing. seven years after the fall of saddam hussein perhaps two million iraqis remain refugees in neighboring countries especially syria and here in jordan. >> a lot of people want to see iraq over and done with. but it is still there. there still are the refugees. >> reporter: riza heads the refugee office in jordan. >> there are many doctors. they're teachers. they're professors. in terms of our registered caseload, i think close to around 30% that have university degrees. so it's a highly educated population who i think never imagined to be in this situation. >> reporter: iraqi refugees are not housed in camps. most renteded homes in a parched already crowded country as it is at least half of jordan's population of six
million are paal refugees from earlier regional conflicts. the iraqis have seen their exile drag on much longer than they hoped or could afford says this person from the relief agency international rescue committee. >> they came with some money. most of them lived here for more than two years. jordan is not a cheap country. it's expensive. even the people who came here and they had somehow money to cover their accommodation and the basic needs, they spent everything they have. >> reporter: iraqis are not allowed to work in jordan unless they have specialized skills. in this family, 15 people share a two-room apartment. they survive on rations doled out monthly by the u.n. and about $200 in cash assistance. 38-year-old javier scrounges informly for additional income. >> i beg. i get lots of orders from bakerees and such. and i do tailoring. i also volunteer at the
international res cue committee to raise awareness about domestic violence. >> reporter: she escaped the violence of baghdad in december of 2003 but brother and brother-in-law were kidnapped and killed by militiamen. she has no idea who they were and they took her husband father of three children. he was freed but with severe physical and mental trauma and unable to work since. neither he nor her surviving brother would appear on camera still fearful for their safety. yet she's desperate to return to iraq. >> we've been escaping to a safer place for eight years. but we can't do that forever. i've been living in a strange land for eight years. we don't care about electricity and water at this point. because we'veate goen too used to living without it. i just need security for myself and my kids. >> reporter: relief workers say most exiles find it's not safe enough to return. even if they did, finding housing and work would be a
huge challenge. for many, the best hope is resettlement in a third country. they apply at the u.n. refuse awe gee agency. the u.s., australia, canada and europe are top destinations although the economic slowdown has limited job prospects for newcomers. about 20,000 refugees were resettled last year. for most the wait can take years. iraq's religious minorities, mostly christians, and female- headed households receive priority. at the other end in a seemingly indefinite limbo are young men. they struggle on the margins in amman. this man pays his rent by fixing computers. he started a website to bring young iraqi exiles together and to help them navigate the asylum process. >> it's the most miserable situation for the young iraqis here in jordan. usually they can't find work here.
there's not even work for jordanian nationals let alone young men who come here as refugees. you can't get a work permit. if you want to get a job it will be illegal. you could submit yourself to forced deportation if they find out. >> reporter: aide workers worry about the emerging generation. many have seen their education disrupted, further handicapping them in any job market. and this woman who said she enjoyed a stable middle class life under saddam hussein thinks many youths will carry forward the bitterness her generation harbors. >> i definitely blame the americans for everything that's happening. for death of my brother, for the death of my brother-in-law. i blame them for poor policies, shooting at families going into homes. my nephew, he's a young kid. i can't tell him to love america even though they killed your dad. so he's going to have a lot of bitterness towards america. it's going to grow up in his entire generation. >> reporter: even as they
criticize the intervention, many refugees including the doctor fear the u.s. pullout from iraq. >> the withdrawal was very good for the country. the u.s. should be packing and leaving. but on the other hand, you need a strong well established national force who will take over the mission of security. at the moment that does not really exist. but with better training, funding and assistance of u.s. and other countries, if they raise the bar for national iraqi forces, iraq will have a good future. >> reporter: his wife is not holding her breath. >> in my lifetime it's pretty much impossible. in my kids' lifetime? maybe it's possible. by god's will. >> reporter: until then, she and many other iraqi intellectuals will be watching from a distance like thousands of others this family waits in line for a chance at resettlement. they hope it will be to the united kingdom.
>> brown: again the makeor developments of this day. president obama asked congress to approve $50 billion in transportation and infrastructure spending to help create new jobs. and the u.n. nuclear agency expressed alarm at iran's continued defiance over its nuclear program. and we turn to hari sreenivasan in our news room for what's on the newshour online. >> sreenivasan: on this labor day, our political director david chalian has an interview with afl-cio president about gearing up for the fall political season. on art beat watch a profile of musician andrew bird who created a unique concert experience called sonic arboretum at new york's guggenheim museum. all that and more is is on our website newshour.pbs.org. >> brown: that is the newshour for tonight. on tuesday we'll get an update from tom beardon in chile on the trapped miners. i'm geoffrey brown. we'll see you online and again
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